Kathakali is an ancient art of dance and theatre from Kerala state. This is what you should see there in addition to elephants and backwaters. Well, for some tourists elephants and backwaters are enough to enjoy Kerala, but kathakali is a very interesting performance, especially its interesing to see the process of makeup application which lasts for one hour and anybody is welcome to come, watch and photograph. Glamourous girls, compared to kathakali artists, just powder their cheeks. And taking into account all the colors for makeup have genuinely natural origin (not something with organic product on the packaging box) the efforts of the actors deserve the best praise.
Actors apply their makeup by themselves, though the actor playing the role of a villain is assisted by chottikaran — its a person specially trained in arts and makeup.
All the colors used have a natural origin and derived from stones: chayilam (red), manayola (yellow) and neelam (blue). Coconut oil is used to mix the stone powder.
Its going to be a woman!
Though you cannot tell at this stage ))
Makeup application is done on the stage in front of the audience.
One of the heroes.
On the left is chottikaran, on the right Ganesha, just in case you didnt recognize.
Chottikaran is preparing a special stuff which he is going to use for adhesing a necessary part to the face of the villain in order to give him a more frightening look.
Here everything is ready in the coconut cups.
Chottikaran is waiting for the actor who will play a villain to finish with his makeup.
Now he has to adhese the external details which will make the jaw bones look wider and more fierce. Before a rice flour was used to make those white things, but now it is replaced with paper.
Ultimately, after a long hour of efforts, we have images of the main heroes of the performance. This is the most evil and negative hero.
And this is a beauty, who is going to be in trouble because of the evil hero.
And its her salvator. He will have a lot of clothes put on him later.
By the way, traditionally kathakali performance is done only by men.
Theatre is decorated with mandalas and little feet, and now everything is ready for the performance to start.